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#Turkey: Arrested Anarchist Comrades on Hunger Strike

On May 23 an anarchist comrade and several other people were arrested during a solidarity demonstration with Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca. The fascist Erdogan regime is supported by the EU, who finances the brutal opression by the Turkish state with the EU-Turkey deal. Update May 26th (At the bottom of this page).


Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca are on hunger strike for 78 days now

Written by Riot Turtle

During a late night operation on May 21, Turkish police arrested Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça who are on hunger strike for 78 days in protest at being dismissed from their posts through a decree-law issued under the state of emergency rule in Turkey.   The cops have also searched their house and confiscated some belongings during the raid.

“All our attempts to speak with the prosecutors were denied and we could not get hold of the documents. But what we understand from the documents is that the police believe that the hunger strike could turn into a death fast and there is a possibility that the protest [of Gülmen and Özakça] could turn into a mass protest,” Selçuk Kozağaçlı, the head of the Contemporary Lawyer’s Association, told a crowd gathered in front of the police station early on May 22.

Özakça’s wife, Esra Özakça, was also detained for resisting the detention of the two educators. 

“They came to our door at midnight. Nuriye and Semih have already gone to the police station to sign documents as they do every day. First they wanted to break the door, then they broke into our house with the help of a locksmith. It was not a detention but an attempted murder,” Esra Özakça said after being released from detention on May 22, while the detention of Gülmen and Özakça continued.

“They searched everywhere, they upended the room, and they took two of Semih’s books. They did not even let me put on my shoes,” Esra Özakça added.

On May 22 and May 23 many people took the streets in Turkey to demand the release of Gülmen and Özakça. In Ankara and other cities cops attacked protesters and injured and detained several people. According to one of them was an anarchist comrade, who was detained along with several others. The comrades in question are held arbitrarily by the police in custody and in protest of their treatment, yesterday they went on an indefinite hunger strike until they are released. The arrested anarchist comrade has been active in the Turkish class struggle/internationalist anarchist movement for a long time. He translated/published several articles from libcom and other sources. He edits the Turkish anarchist online news/commentary journal “Yeryuzu Postasi” (World Post).


Image: Today 10 refugees who were on Lesvos (Greece), where deported to Turkey

While the opression of the fascist Erdogan regime is getting more and more violent, the EU turns a blind eye on Erdogan. To maintain the racist EU border policies, the EU is financing the Turkish regime. The EU is paying Erdogan billions and in return Turkey takes back refugees who get deported by EU member states and its barbarous border agency Frontex. Today the wannabe “leftwing” Greek Syriza governement deported 10 refugees to Turkey. The refugees were escorted by 30 officials of the EU border agency Frontex.

Update May 26th: All those held in custody, including the anarchist comrade I earlier mentioned are released a couple of hours ago. So, the leaflet is defunct now. However, Nuriye and Semih are still on hunger strike and still in jail. Everyday small solidarity demonstrations and new arrests/house raids are taking place, so the situation is still evolving. On a funny note, today the Ankara governor issued an order that singing in the streets after dark is banned until further notice. The government is trying to stop the expansion of small spontaneous solidarity demonstrations which are taking the form of small occupations and it is sinking to new depths of stupidity everyday in that effort.

What is most interesting is dozens of businessmen, who are associated with the Gulenist organizations and the coup plot are getting released, while thousands of teachers and public workers still remain sacked and/or in prison. Clearly the burden of state repression fell on the rank-and-file socialist militants and the working class, while those bureaucrats and bourgeois people who may have any ties with the coup and Gulenist islamist faction remain free. This only shows that government’s real fear is not this or that bourgeois faction but the working class. It fears the anger of the proletariat more than it fears any coup or violent inter-bourgeois conflict.

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